Sweet and spicy. That’s how I would describe 2013. Some of it was pretty great. I feel like I’m doing the best writing of my life (2014 will show if I’m right), I spent a lot of quality time with my parents doing fun things like shopping, going out to dinner with friends, and seeing plays, musicals, and even a concert. My blog has started to grow, though it is still not where I’d like it to be, and I made some rather tasty food. But my struggles with trying to get my dreams to become reality, frustrations over blogging, fears about what the future holds, and a few other things I didn’t talk about here on the blog, made it a tough year.
Isn’t that how most of us feel about the years? That they were good and bad, sweet and spicy. We look back and think of the things that didn’t go right, the things that didn’t get done, the regrets we have. And then a decade down the line, when we look back, those mostly little things have hopefully vanished and we only remember the good parts. Life is always a series of ups and downs, and hopefully in the end, there are more ups than downs.
2013 wasn’t my favorite year. I wanted it to be better. I hoped it would be better. And now I’m looking to 2014, hoping, wishing that it has some good things in store. Only time will tell. For now, I sit, thinking about this year, and all the things that occurred during it. Reliving the good bits, and trying to forget the bad ones.
Regardless of my feelings about the year, it certainly went quickly. Thinking back, it seems like January was just yesterday, like 2013 just commenced, like I want it back, to do over again, to use my time better. I was just filled with that nostalgia for 2012, pleading with it to come back; now here I am again. This time, I’m not asking 2013 to come back. I don’t want it back. I’m proud of a lot of the things I accomplished. And this time, I’m really looking forward to 2014, because I think it has great things in store for me. I think it’s going to work out. So, 2014, here’s to you; may you be far more sweet than spicy.
Speaking of sweet and spicy, these Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts are just that. Okay, so these are definitely more sweet than spicy, but two heaping tablespoons of cinnamon bring that warm, comforting heat, I crave this time of year. I thought these would be dense and chewy like a blondies, but instead they baked up soft and moist, a dense, cake-like bar that I fell in love with after one bite. I’m much happier they’re cakey instead of chewy. The crunchy walnuts are the perfect complement to the cinnamon cake and the vanilla glaze is quite literally the icing on top. If 2014 is anything like these bars, I think we’ll all be just fine!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups walnuts
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, line it with parchment and lightly butter the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tartar, and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work too. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the walnuts until evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar for topping. Sprinkle the topping into an even layer over the batter. Use it all.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
- Once the bars are cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, water, and vanilla until a thick, but spreadable glaze forms. Add more water to make it thinner or sugar to make it thicker as necessary. Immediately spread glaze evenly over bars. Cut into pieces and serve. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl Cookbook via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
- Snowman Eggnog Pancakes from Shockingly Delicious
- Baked Oatmeal from In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
- Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding from girlichef
Appetizers & Snacks
- Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Popcorn from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Moroccan Cigars from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Baked Camembert with Caramel and Pecans from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pancetta & Goat Cheese Crostinis from Country Girl in the Village
- New Year’s Brezel from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Sweet and Savory Mixed Nuts from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts from Pies and Plots
- Champagne Shrimp and Pasta from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Main Dishes & Sides
- Minestrone Any Way from Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
- Pecan-Crusted Rainbow Trout from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Mushroom Risotto from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Zapiekanka (Polish ‘pizza’) from Curious Cuisiniere
- Hoppin’ John for Good Luck from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Italian Vegetable Soup from The Foodie Army Wife
- Chicken stuffed with Mozzarella and Prosciutto from Family Foodie
- Black-Eye Pea and Greens Casserole and Wine Pairings from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Desserts & Drinks
- Candied Bacon Bourbon Bloody Mary from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Peanut & Pretzel Bark from Killer Bunnies, Inc.
- Cherry Almond Blondies from Mess Makes Food
- Apricot Fizz from Magnolia Days
- Celebration Mimosas from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Dark Chocolate Cake Doughnuts from What Smells So Good?
- Gluten Free Cronuts from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
- Spiced Cranberry Apple Crisp from Neighborfood
- Blood Orange Mimosas from Take A Bite Out of Boca
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